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Over half Illinois’ population is clustered in Chicago near Lake Michigan. Your money-saving Chicago vacation rental home, condo, or apartment can be in a high-rise with a doorman in the heart of the Loop with sweeping city and lake views. Be near State Street shopping, theaters, parks, lakeshore, and museums. Or choose a quieter area near train and bus lines. Golf, ride bicycles, fish, boat, ice skate, or walk along the lakeshore with the family. With the money saved from a vacation rental versus a downtown hotel, the whole family can even explore smaller cities west of Chicago, like Aurora and Rockford.
Part of Metro Chicago, Aurora is a slower-paced city with its own theater companies, casino, and Schingoethe Center of Native American Cultures. About two hours from Chicago, Rockford is a forested city bisected by the Rock River. A Rockford vacation rental is a trip back in time at the 137-acre Midway Village Museum with its gardens, dollhouse miniatures, and water-powered machine shops. Take the family on a tour of knitting history and former American manufacturing prowess in this city where John Nelson invented the seamless sock machine that made Rockford socks famous.
A Galena vacation rental home is a golf, skiing, tennis, hiking, boating, and fishing escape about 3 hours northwest of Chicago, and about an hour from Rockford, Dubuque (IA), and Madison (WI). Visit the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site. Ski Chestnut Mountain. Be near nature and the limestone bluffs of Apple River Canyon State Park for family reunions. About 2 hours southwest of Chicago, a Utica vacation rental is the gateway to fishing and boating at Starved Rock State Park.
The flat prairie and farmland of central Illinois has many wildlife refuges for aquatic birds and manmade lakes with boating and fishing. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum are in the state capital of Springfield. Peoria has Ronald Reagan’s alma mater, Eureka College, plus stern-wheeler boat cruises and Wildlife Prairie State Park. Decatur has the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law early in his career. Bloomington is known for its golf courses and Beer Nuts factory.
Southern Illinois is mostly rural, with farmlands and forests. A Carbondale or Metropolis vacation rental cottage, cabin or loft in the Shawnee National Forest area is about five hours from Chicago, with Champaign-Urbana the midway stopping point. Metropolis has a Superman museum and a uranium processing plant, but no kryptonite. Carbondale has many public tennis courts and parks, and proximity to a dozen vineyards along the scenic Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.